A Run in the Sun -

After an entire day of vet visits and physical exams in town yesterday (see photos here) both the dogs and the mushers were ready to get out and enjoy some sunshine and fun on the trails around our home!  And that is exactly what we did.  I had the camera with to document it all and share with you. And since a picture is worth a thousand words I will spare you my ramblings and just get right to the photos, enjoy! Continue reading

Posted in Dew Claw News, the dogs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pre-race Vet Care, key to a happy healthy team.

Today was a big day for the Dew Claw race dogs, maybe not their favorite day, but an important one nonetheless.   Today we loaded all the dog in the trailer and headed to town for 2 very important appointments. Now the Dew Claw dogs get pretty excited when they get to go in the trailer, usually it means we are going somewhere fun to explore new trails.  And I think they were bummed when the first stop was for EKG’s and Blood Draws.  This is a mandatory screening for ALL Iditarod race dogs.  These tests give us key information about the health of our dogs, and can reveal things that would not be visible to mushers, even after our hours of observing our team.  This is the kind of information that really helps us make informed decision about which dogs are best suited to racing this year.

I have some photos from today to share with you. But first I want to take a minute and thank Jan, Tabitha, and the great group of Vet Techs who did such an awesome job today!  Blood draws and being strapped to an EKG machine may not have been a favorite activity, but the love and attention that was given the dogs made it all better.  Also want to give Mush Thanks to Dr. Jim Atwell and the folks at Providence Health System for their continued support of the Iditarod. They will be doing the lab work and reading the EGK’s. Continue reading

Posted in Dew Claw News, the dogs | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Trail Begins in Fairbanks

This is only the second time in history that the Iditarod has moved it’s start, and it is going to be happening right in my home town. And with the ability to run the actual trail prior to the race you wold be a fool not to do so. Now I know I am a woman who could be described by many adjectives, but I flatter myself to say “fool” is not one of them. And to help prove it…  Yesterday Dan and I did the non-foolish thing and went out to run the new Iditarod trail route. It is going to start in Fairbanks and run the Tanana River to Nenana.  Now to be honest this is a trail we run every year, and one of our favorite river training spot. But this past winter strange warm weather and low snow meant that the Tanana River did not freeze as early as it has in years past, so this was out first trip out there this year.

It was a wonderful run and the dogs enjoyed the sunny day rolling down the river. The trail is in excellent condition and will provide a nice safe start for the teams heading out on March 9th. For our friends who have not had the enjoyable experience of running the Tanana Dan and I took a LOT of photos to share with you here on the blog.  The photos are in order starting in Fairbanks and heading toward Nenana. We stopped in Nenana, where you see the bridge and old fish wheels, to camp. And head home that evening; not as many photos because of the bad light. Hope you will enjoy this little sneak peek into what the first 50 miles of this years Iditarod trail will look like. Continue reading

Posted in Dew Claw News | Leave a comment

A post about numbers or drop bags…

…depending on how you look at it. 

Lucky the Squirrel was supervising much of my drop bag preparations,as I counted and measured and talked to myself thinking out loud to check all my calculations. I think he thinks I am nuts.

Lucky the Squirrel was supervising much of my drop bag preparations,as I counted and measured and talked to myself; thinking out loud to check all my calculations. I think he thinks I am nuts.

Lately my head has been swimming in numbers. Which usually leaves me thinking, “why didn’t I work harder to study math when I was in school?”  Really to all the young mushers out there who want to know what they can do to prepare themselves for Iditarod – Study Math.  Make it your friend! Because to quote W. E. B. Du Bois, When you have mastered numbers, you will in fact no longer be reading numbers, any more than you read words when reading books You will be reading meanings.

I however have not reached that level, so as we continue on with this post let me quote comedian Steven Wright, “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” Continue reading

Posted in Dew Claw News, the mushers, the races | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Making & Remaking Plans

Well my friends, by now you have heard the exciting news that the 2015 Iditarod will be starting in Fairbanks. Just in case you haven’t seen the offical press release with information about the new route and checkpoints you can read it here. “2015 ReStart: Fairbanks Press Release and Information About Checkpoints“.  And in spite of the fact that it adds some driving to our hectic pre-race routine, and that I will be filing away my most recent game plan for the southern route for use in future years, I am still very excited. Plus I completely support the decision made by the Iditarod Trail Committee, the ITC Board, and Musher Representatives to alter this years race route in favor of a better trail. Continue reading

Posted in Dew Claw News, the mushers, the races | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Northern Lights post race wrap-up

Returned to Fairbanks after a very fun trip down to run the Northern Lights 300, and was greeted by the coldest cold snap of the winter so far! -35F, oh yeah! So basically I have been feeding dogs and woodstoves since my return. Outside chores at these temps take twice as long, not to mention the additional time of dressing for them.  But today temps warmed up to a nice comfortable -17F, the dogs enjoyed a good run, and I now have some time to catch up on the blog and let folks know how the race went.  As you know from my last post A Strange Strategy for Success~ I had a fun, if yet unproven, group of young dogs on my team .  And long story short – they rocked it!

But when have I ever made a long story short ;)

Dew Claw

Dave, Me, & TC – all smiles at the start

Lets start at the beginning.  I drove down for the race and stayed with my awesome friends TC and Dave, who were the hosts with the most!!!!  I had an perfect place to park the dog trailer, set up my chains and spread out straw so the dogs could relax comfortably while we were there. TC was my navigator making sure I got my drop bags turned in to the correct location, and then the next day made it to my vet checks on time. They were also my crack handling team for the race, getting me off in style! And taking care of me and the dog on our return. Continue reading

Posted in Dew Claw News, the races | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment